Sunday, October 03, 2004

Last Week's Job Ideas

It is clear that, after Friday, I will not be paid to work as a research scientist for an indefinite period of time. For the sake of preserving my shaky self-identity and self-esteem, I have worked out an agreement with my employer that allows me to continue my research (without pay), also for an indefinite period of time (does this make me a Hobby Scientist? A Gentleman Scientist?). I am trying to remain hopeful that this banishment from my career will last for only a short time. Meanwhile, I have been thinking of little jobs for me that might provide enough income to cover my rent and keep my companion parrots fed.

Monday, I was going to be a writer. My book was going to be entitled C'mon Baby, Light My Fire: A Walking Guide to the Firehouses (and Firemen) of Manhattan. My unique, "four buns ratings system" would be used in this book so the reader could, at a glance, compare each and every Manhattan firehouse on a variety of criteria that are not limited to fire and emergency response times. Since I plan to include lots of high-quality photos for my female and gay male readers, I do need a good photographer to accompany me as I go about my research (or at least, I require the loan of a good camera -- I am a fairly good photographer myself). Advanced sales are already promised by the women on CraigsList, few of whom actually live within 1,000 miles of NYC (so you know this book will be good!).

Tuesday, I decided to enter the social services field as a facilitator. Basically, I was going to hire myself out as a "Wingwoman". For those of you who don't know, a Wingwoman is a woman who accompanies a single man (her client) to a bar or other social situation for the purpose of checking out the women present. The Wingwoman approaches those women who are considered attractive by her client and chats them up with the ultimate goal of "selling" them on an introduction to her "brother" (best friend, whatever); her client. The Wingwoman acts as an ice breaker by encouraging these women to give up their phone number to her client so he can pursue them for dates (or sex or whatever passes for a date these days -- I personally wouldn't know).

Wednesday, I was going to be a gourmet chef. Because I will be unemployed and therefore, unable to afford the finest of ingredients, my specialty was going to be the thousand ways to safely obtain and prepare roadkill without causing undue gastric distress to yourself or to those friends of yours whom you wish to keep around for awhile. Since I have already turned the gas off in my apartment to save money, these dishes will be cooked using a microwave or crock pot. I have already developed some recipes that I might post here after my employment ends on Friday, including several that I have developed specifically for the long-distance commuter, so common to the west coast. These so-called "commuter recipes" are designed to be cooked on the engine block of your car while you commute (cooking times included, photos included whenever available).

Thursday, I gave in to the "cure-all solution" among unemployed persons in NYC: start my own business. My proposed business, Box O' Bugz would target the rapidly growing revenge market. I would round up my resident cockroaches, put them in a box and ship them anywhere in the world, alive (for a small fee, of course). This is a win-win situation: I will get rid of the disgusting little beasts while my clients can legally use them in whatever fashion suits their needs most. I developed this idea after listening to a friend's woes with her roommate. Her roommate sounds like she is in the final stages of vegetarianism while simultaneously suffering from chronic behavioral constipation. I informed my delighted friend about the advantages of a diet supplemented with cockroaches and how this dietary supplement would benefit her roommate and by association, herself. Because cockroaches contain protein, they will enrich protein-deficient diets such as those typically eaten by vegans, vegetarians and other dietary extremists. As an added bonus, cockroaches also contain fiber, thanks to their delicately crunchy yet indigestable exoskeletons, and everyone knows that fiber is a superb constipation reliever. Consuming copious quantities of cockroaches in breakfast cereal should put her roommate into tiptop shape by rectifying her self-imposed dietary deficiencies while making her easier to live with, besides.

Friday, I decided to give up on everything and pursue "Plan B"; sail away to the south Pacific Ocean where my research birds live. Plan B is not new. In fact, this is my favorite alternative life, one that I often think about on Fridays. I have been working on Plan B for a decade already; I purchased gallons of waterproof SPF50 sunblock, taken Indonesian language classes and sailing lessons, crewed on a racing sailboat and read many books about sailing and navigating the Pacific Ocean, and all of these accomplishments are coalescing into a nascent escape plan. But money has stopped me so far. Or, more precisely, my lack of money has made Plan B even more more challenging than it already is. Even sailing away isn't easily affordable for the nouveau chômeur.

Because I realized that I need to make the best that I can out of my current unemployment situation, which seems to be a bit of a joke at this point, I decided to become a circus clown on Saturday but was promptly informed that I need to go to Clown School first. Clown School! Who'da thunk it?? Because that also requires money, I am automatically disqualified.

Sunday, I rested (planning for unemployment is hard work!).

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© 2004, 2005, 2006 by GrrlScientist

10 Peer Reviews:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Hedrick les Chouette, I certainly think you should become a writer. Find a magazine who needs someone to do the occaisonal column. Maybe a literary journal. In between gigs, you can support yourself in some dark, backstreet kitchen washing the dishes. Your blog would make an excellent resume, as it shows your writing talent and your wit as well.

Jeff, Dallas, TX

10:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Er, Hedwig les Chouette, that is.

10:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope you get back into research. Perhaps research physics. You are a good writer, it is good to see some quality blogs out there. Oh, and the world has enough porn and sex, so I hope you decide against Monday and Tuesday's ideas for the future.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a firm believer that if you throw enough crap it a wall, something will stick. With that spirit in mind, I suggest a quid pro quo of sorts. I need a "wingwoman" and you need an education in the clown arts. You are a woman and I can juggle and ride a unicycle. You be my "wingwoman" and I will teach you how to juggle and ride a unicycle. If you find me a sugarmamma, then I will throw in a mime lesson and a special session on how to make small chilfren laugh without scaring the bejeeezuz out of them.


~Jon, NJ

3:09 PM  
Blogger GrrlScientist said...

Jim -- thanks for your kind words. I am actually working on a book contract ... but don't worry about running out to your local bookseller to buy it because it'll be a rather dry academic tome about bird diseases! (although I do solemnly swear to liven up the prose whenever possible). But I think, I hope, I have several fictional stories lurking inside my head, too (one of which might get me arrested if I discuss it aloud on the subways -- a trick I am saving for free publicity when the book hits the shelves).

Anonymous -- thank you too for your kind words. It's always good to hear GOOD things about oneself, especially when this person (me) is going through a bit of a dry spell in that regard. And while I aspire to be a naughty owl, I doubt I've ever succeeded. So I'll stick to science.

Jon -- I am not sure where I fit into the "shit" scheme (am I "da shit"? or am I ... ? ... hrm, maybe you shouldn't answer that), but nevermind that right now. Sure, I'd love to be your Wingwoman but I might be working around a conflict of interest on my part!

10:37 AM  
Blogger GrrlScientist said...

er, Jeff, not Jim! But you knew that, didn't you?

4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I did. Touche! ;o) I've developed a reputation at work for being bad with names.

6:25 PM  
Blogger Tabor said...

My son graduated with a B.A. in psychology (a great degree for finding jobs) because he really didn't know what he wanted to do. We encouraged him to go to an audio technology school (He agreed, thinking in the back of his mind he would work for a rock star). When he returned home, my husband knew someone who knew someone, etc. and he got him a meeting with a human resources person with a national television channel. The didn't offer him a job, but he got part-time temp work for a year while he lived with us. This year he has a full-time job with benefits with the company. The downside is that he works nights 6:00 until 2:00 A.M. Not great for someone who wants a social life. BUT, my message here is that it's all about who you know in this world today. My advice is to network, network, network.

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am currently unemployed too, actually I have been waiting for over a month to start working in some company, and I know what is to be unemployed.

After reading this post, I thought you ought to use this page (or perhaps another one) as a way of promoting yourself as a cientist. Some of your posts do convey the passion you have for your career and for teaching in general, so you could try to explore a bit further these issues.

I would also suggest that you look for blogs of people with similar interests, that could, in the end, be some sort of contacts. Increasing your traffic through joining more blog directories (I've seen you've joined blogexplosion -I'm also there) is a good complement to this.

Good luck in your job search and hopefully my two cents can help you out.

Leda Swan

1:41 PM  
Blogger GrrlScientist said...

Hello Tabor and Leda!

It is such a compliment to me that you are reading my blog! Thank you! To respond to your suggestions, Tabor, I am trying to keep my network updated as to my situation without becoming a pest about it. This is such a fine line to walk, especially when I feel so demoralized and overly-sensitive about it. To respond to your suggestion, Leda, I have found a few contacts through my blog, which have made me feel so much better about the time I spend blogging. I sometimes joke that I might be the very first person in scientific history to blog my way into a job!

Okay, maybe the second person ...

By the way, I added reciprocal links to both of your blogs. Thank you for linking to me in the first place; your links help increase my blog traffic.

5:54 PM  

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